ABOUT THE BOOK
In the start of an all-new series, the bestselling author of Uprooted and Spinning Silver introduces you to a dangerous school for the magically gifted where failure means certain death – until one girl begins to rewrite its rules.
Enter a school of magic unlike any you have ever encountered.
There are no teachers, no holidays, friendships are purely strategic, and the odds of survival are never equal.
Once you’re inside, there are only two ways out: you graduate or you die.
El Higgins is uniquely prepared for the school’s many dangers. She may be without allies, but she possesses a dark power strong enough to level mountains and wipe out untold millions – never mind easily destroy the countless monsters that prowl the school.
Except, she might accidentally kill all the other students, too. So El is trying her hardest not to use it… that is, unless she has no other choice.
Wry, witty, endlessly inventive, and mordantly funny – yet with a true depth and fierce justice at its heart – this enchanting novel reminds us that there are far more important things than mere survival.
This story is pure magic from the start. El Higgins has never been liked by anyone but her mum. People just seem to take a dislike to her as soon as they see her and keep a wide berth. In her defence, El has learned to keep out of other peoples way, for their own good. El is the narrator of the story and it comes across as pure dry humour that made me giggle. The further into the story I got and the more I liked this girl.
El has been sent to a very special school, a school of magic and mayhem where only fifty percent of students will graduate due to the other half being killed by the horrendous creatures that roam the dormitories throughout the year tasting the goods until the final day when the only way out is through them.
This is a cracking story, though, like everyone else that she knew, I didn’t like El, to begin with, it is very clever writing by this author. I had fallen hook line and sinker to be like everyone else and see what El wanted them to see. The entrance of a fellow male student made me smile but had the opposite effect of El. I was intrigued.
There are some wicked creatures in the story, brilliant head to heads and unthinkable alliances. The story is entertaining, funny and sure to be a hit with many generations. I really didn’t want it all to come to an end but there is going to be more. A brilliant start to a new series with the select few been chosen to take centre stage already.
I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
An avid reader of fantasy literature since age six, when she first made her way through The Lord of the Rings, Naomi Novik is also a history buff with a particular interest in the Napoleonic era and a fondness for the work of Patrick O’Brian and Jane Austen. She studied English literature at Brown University, and did graduate work in computer science at Columbia University before leaving to participate in the design and development of the computer game Neverwinter Nights: Shadow of Undrentide. Over the course of a brief winter sojourn spent working on the game in Edmonton, Canada (accompanied by a truly alarming coat that now lives brooding in the depths of her closet), she realized she preferred writing to programming, and on returning to New York, decided to try her hand at novels.
Naomi lives in New York City with her husband and six computers.